Monday, August 04, 2008

Obama's Springfield Years

As Stanley Kurtz notes in TWS, Obama is not eager to talk about his Springfield years, as they undermine his assumed post-political persona. Drawing on back issues of the Hyde Park Herald and the Chicago Defender, Kurtz starts with this insight:
Obama moved to Chicago in order to place himself in what he understood to be the de facto "capital" of black America. [snip]

What they portray is a Barack Obama sharply at variance with the image of the post-racial, post-ideological, bipartisan, culture-war-shunning politician familiar from current media coverage and purveyed by the Obama campaign. As details of Obama's early political career emerge into the light, his associations with such radical figures as Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Father Michael Pfleger, Reverend James Meeks, Bill Ayers, and Bernardine Dohrn look less like peculiar instances of personal misjudgment and more like intentional political partnerships. At his core, in other words, the politician chronicled here is profoundly race-conscious, exceedingly liberal, free-spending even in the face of looming state budget deficits, and partisan. Elected president, this man would presumably shift the country sharply to the left on all the key issues of the day-culture-war issues included. It's no wonder Obama has passed over his Springfield years in relative silence.

Kurtz concludes, for Barack Obama, race is pervasive--his organizing principle. I thought early on that Obama choosing Wright's church was a tepid kind of political expediency, but when you add up his other associations and choices, it's clear it was a hard-core, radical choice. And why does he even allude to slave reparations, which slipped past his supposed post-political facade lately. Then there's his fundraising friendship with rapper Ludacris in 2007, a prominent early supporter...

About 600 contributors turned out Monday evening for Barack Obama's first Atlanta visit as a Democratic presidential candidate.

Organizers said they expected to raise more than $500,000, the most for a Democratic presidential contender in Atlanta since a fund-raiser for John Kerry after he won the party's nomination in 2004.

"There were a lot more people in that room than some of us thought there would be," Atlanta attorney Mark Tripp said after a $2,300-per-person VIP reception at the Hyatt Regency hotel, which was followed by a $500-per-head rally.

The event was closed to the press, but Kirk Dornbush, one of the organizers of the event, said Obama assured the audience at the rally that he wasn't there just to raise money.

"This is not goodbye. This is hello," Obama reportedly told the enthusiastic Democratic crowd.

Dornbush said the Obama campaign plans to return to Atlanta in April for a public event.

The event brought together many Democratic officials, as well as rapper Ludacris and DJ Frank Ski.

...which blew up in his oh so smooth face last week.

The final irony is that if Obama weren't black, we wouldn't be talking about him at all--he would have no political career outside of Illinois, which, by the way, forms the core of his popular vote support in the primaries. His success illustrates that America is a profoundly welcoming place--that because of his race Americans have given him the benefit of the doubt on his thin resume and his radicalism. But perhaps that is about to change, because we really can't believe Barack Obama has changed all that much from his early years.

UPDATE: Race dead even. MSM attacks McCain. Rasmussen here. (A reason why--whiner Barack. Empty suit. And perhaps because McCain, in contrast, actually has a message of substance.) RCP average here.

AP photo.

UPDATE: And yes, Barack's an elitist, as are the Dems. Andrew Sullivan complains. But Obama's the one who's set himself up as some kind of cult savior--he is fair game for cultural counter-attacks.

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